Online Instructor Platform Guide

Want To Teach Online? This is a directory of the latest online platforms for Online Instructors to list their courses on, or use as a hosting platform*

Last Updated - 29th May 2017

 

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3rd Party Marketplaces - They Host - They Sell:


Udemy.com

Course Type Preference: Both b2b and b2c
Revenue Potential: Low to high (very competitive) 
Age Of Platform: Launched: 2009
Size (Number Of Students): 11 Million
Marketplace: Individual course sale model - Courses priced $20 to $50
Barrier To Entry: High production quality required


 

Thoughts: 

Still the largest of the learning platforms and is worth trying to sell courses on and is a great place to learn how to create high quality courses as they have very high quality standards.

Huge earning potential if you can hit a home run!

Still our top earner Jan 2017...


Skillshare.com

Course Type Preference: All both b2c and b2b, however b2c performs better - short courses work better
Revenue Potential: Medium / smaller payments $1.40 to $2.00 per enrollment has been scrapped and now they pay out $0.04 to $0.10 per minute watched
Age Of Platform: April 2011
Size (Number Of Students): 1.7 Million
Marketplace: Subscription costs $10 per month
Barrier To Entry: Low - ranking is based on a meritocracy

Thoughts:

Suitable for project based courses / hobby courses do particularly well.

The first month since Skillshare have moved to the new payment system (February 2017), has seen income drops of between 50% and 85%.

In light of that, we cannot recommend the platform as a place to build a business, but still somewhere to list your courses if they are already available from your own site or other platforms.


Curious.com

Course Type Preference: All - but seems more suitable for b2c
Revenue Potential: Unknown
Age Of Platform: Started 2012
Size (Number Of Students): Unknown student number, however it is a large platform with over 20000 lessons
Marketplace: Student subscription costs $7.50 a month
Barrier To Entry: Application required - but appears to be an auto-accept

Thoughts:

Worth trying out some courses and see how they perform.

Uploading of courses is a slow process as they like each lesson to be broken into segments with at least one quiz per lesson - each segment to be about 1-5 mins long.

We are still working on uploading on here, so will hopefully have some results at the end of this quarter Mar 2017 - the few modules we do have on there have been very slow so far.


Skillwise / Stackskills / Stacksocial (Stack Commerce)

Course Type Preference: All both b2b and b2c
Revenue Potential: Medium to High - very good if you can get a course in their stack skills packages where they "auction" a package over a period of several months - bringing in daily revenue.
Age Of Platform: Started 2011
Size (Number Of Students): Unknown
Marketplace & Self Hosting: Currently places courses in bundles and runs auction type sales where an instructor takes a cut - these courses are also available on their platform.  They also have the new Skillwise platform where they sell individual courses.
Barrier To Entry: Course approval process

Thoughts:

Skillwise is a full blown platform that is part of the Stack Commerce group.

Very good platform with good earnings.

They consistently bring us good earnings, second only to Udemy.

 


Skill Success

Course Type Preference: All b2c and b2b
Revenue Potential: Medium to High - Instructors are earning on the platform
Age Of Platform: Unknown
Size (Number Of Students): Unknown
Marketplace: Individual course sale model
Barrier To Entry: None/unknown

Thoughts:

Up and coming potential heavyweight - these guys know how to sell courses..  

They have an email sign up for their ‘Flash Sales’ which is a popular marketing model that people like.

These guys are lower than Skillshare in terms of revenue for us, but still worth putting some courses over there.


Amazon Video Direct (AVD)

Course Type Preference: Amazon Video Direct allows people to upload their video content onto the platform.  Hailed as ‘Amazon takes on YouTube’  
Revenue Potential: Unknown / around $0.06 to $0.15 per hour viewed -  AVD has several different revenue models
Age Of Platform: Launched AVD in May 2016
Size (Number Of Students): Approximately 46 Million Prime Members and 244 Million shoppers on Amazon
Marketplace: Marketplace - individual course sales, prime subscriptions and watched minutes.
Barrier To Entry:  All video content requires closed captions/subtitles.  There is also an approval process for each piece of content submitted which according to some is not always a quick or smooth process (not yet anyway!) - captioning is a laborious / expensive process at the moment

Thoughts:

It is rumored that Amazon Video Direct may be a precursor to them launching an Amazon e-learning platform.

AVD is not a true "course training platform" at this point.

If a large player like Amazon enters the e-learning arena however, then things will heat up fast.

Fasten those seatbelts folks!

Still no developments Jan 2017 - some people have said it is good, others have said not so good - so we are hanging back on this one.


Lynda.com / LinkedIn Learning

Course Type Preference: All b2b and b2c - particularly good for corporate (employees)
Revenue Potential: Unknown
Age Of Platform: Well established platform approximately 1996
Size (Number Of Students): 350 million members - the grandmother of online learning
Marketplace: Closed marketplace - Subscription model - they purchase your course rights and pay you based on subscription.
Barrier To Entry: Closed marketplace - application process via their website (they will only contact you back if your application matches their developing needs as they cannot respond to every application)

Thoughts:

Microsoft purchased LinkedIn and by default Lynda.com mid 2016.

LinkedIn launch LinkedIn Learning Sep 2016 so that they can compete for the corporate learning market.

It is rumored that Linkedin who purchased Lynda.com for 1.5 billion in 2015 may open up Lynda.com to independent publishers - which would be a huge development.  

Watch this space!

Nothing happening here at the moment, no signs of them opening up the platform Jan 2017.


Stone River Elearning

Course Type Preference: Appears more b2c -technology / programming / design courses
Revenue Potential: Low/unknown
Age Of Platform: Started 2011
Size (Number Of Students): 250k
Marketplace: Both individual course sales or subscription models
Barrier To Entry: None/unknown

Thoughts:

 Suitable for technology type courses - this is their core market.

We have nothing here, so cannot share experiences, these are not our types of courses.


Of Course

Course Type Preferences: B2B & B2C
Revenue Potential: Low to medium
Age of platform: April 2015
Size (number of students): Unknown
Barrier To Entry: High production quality. Expertise background check. Prefer personal development / self improvement courses

Thoughts:

Relative newcomer to the market - UK based - focus on self development but accept all other types of courses.

Very low income potential for us at the moment, your mileage may vary if you sell courses that are more to do with coaching etc Jan 2017.

 


360Training.com

Course Type Preference: For corporations (employees)
Revenue Potential: Unknown
Age Of Platform: Well established has pre e-learning roots going back to 1997
Size (Number Of Students): 4 Million
Marketplace: Subscription model - switched 03rd Jul 2016
Barrier To Entry: None/unknown

Thoughts:

Switched to a subscription based model on the 03rd of July 2016

Found some complaints registered online by customers with BBB Directory - mainly over certification and delivery issues.

Some instructors also have reported dissatisfaction when dealing with this platform in terms of customer service. 

The large revenue split of 70/30 in their favor may be off putting for some instructors.

Everyone I have heard from have said this platform is not very good at all...


Ulearning

Course Types Preference: All b2b and b2c
Revenue Potential: Currently probably low but as it grows could become a medium opportunity
Age Of Platform: Started 2016
Size (Number Of Students): Unknown
Marketplace: Individual course sales model
Barrier To Entry: None/unknown

Thoughts:

Very new platform, worth keeping an eye on - if it takes off could become a good place to sell.

Reports are that this is not doing so well, so if you hear differently, let us know Jan 2017.

 


Coursmos

Course Type Preference: All b2b and b2c
Revenue Potential: Low
Age Of Platform: Believe started in 2013
Size (Number Of Students): 1.7m
Marketplace: Individual course sale model
Barrier To Entry: None/unknown - as at the  time of writing (June 2016) Coursmos will upload your courses for you via porting over from Udemy or from a Google Drive folder

Thoughts:  

1.  Coursmos does not promote your courses so any sales are organic from customers browsing the site so anticipated sales would be low.  
2.  There is a possibility some courses can be included in ‘collections’ which they do promote.  
3.  They have a marketing programme instructors can join if they wish where Coursmos will match fund whatever the instructor wants to spend on promoting their course.  Obviously this requires a capital outlay so an instructor would need to feel quite confident on the return in investment should they use the marketing programme.  
4. Coursmos is hoping to incorporate joint instructor functionality in the near future.

We have courses on here, has been completely dead in terms of sales for 6 months - Jan 2017.


Learning.ly

Course Type Preference: All however has a lot for corporations (employees)
Revenue Potential: Unknown
Age Of Platform: 2015
Size (Number Of Students): Unknown
Marketplace: Individual course sale model
Barrier To Entry:  Learning.ly is not an open platform - an application and interview process is involved 

Thoughts:  

Probably worth trying if you have courses that are particularly suitable for employees.

We have not uploaded anything here to date Jan 2017.


Pluralsight

Course Type Preference: Seems to be focused on technical courses
Revenue Potential: Unknown
Age Of Platform: unknown
Size (Number Of Students): Unknown
Marketplace: Subscription model - $49 per month
Barrier To Entry:  Application Process - Require exclusive content and also require an audition video

Thoughts:

One to pursue if you want to create technical courses as the site looks professional.

Revenue potential would need to be confirmed though.

Exclusive branded Pluralsight content might be an issue for pro course creators.

We have not uploaded here as we like to retain full copyright.


Amazing.com

Course Type Preference: Both b2b and b&c
Revenue Potential: Low/unknown
Age Of Platform:  Unknown
Size (Number Of Students): 15.5k
Marketplace: Subscription model - $39 per month?
Barrier To Entry: Only accepting Amazon Marketplace FBA courses. 

Thoughts:

Amazing.com laid off 50% of their workforce in May 2016  and they are currently restricting courses to Amazon FBA courses, their future stability is questionable.

We have not uploaded anything here to date, some instructors report consistent earnings.


CyberU

Course Type Preference: All b2c and b2b
Revenue Potential: Low/unknown
Age Of Platform: New platform
Size (Number Of Students): Unknown
Marketplace: Individual course sale model
Barrier To Entry: Have to be approved

Thoughts:

Launched a corporate training wing Jan 2017 as well as offering standard training.

So watch this space.


 

Additional Sites

All of these platforms are very new or we have little information and are mentioned here for reference. They are a mix of marketplaces and platforms in no particular order.

If you have information on them that is useful, please share it with us and we will give the platform a full listing.

 

 

The Naughty Corner - Instructor Beware:

Here are some claims and potential issues with online platforms.

This section is to report on any "naughty" behavior from platforms out there.

Once a report is received, or posted online, we will share the information here - we do not confirm or deny the veracity of any claims supplied here and offer it for your reference only.

 

Eazyskillz - reports of non-payment from Rob Cubbon - article here

Edurila - reports of ripping off instructor courses and selling them without permission - Rob Cubbon - article here


Hosting Platforms - They Host - You Sell


Thinkific

Course Hosting Platform: You Are Responsible For Marketing
Marketing Features: Comprehensive
Age Of Platform: Unknown
Support Reputation: High
Cost: Free/$39/$79/$219 per month

Thoughts:

Very versatile and highly regarded, but be aware you will have to pay an additional $30 a month to get EU VAT handling, which is provided by a third party supplier.

Probably the best functionality at the moment.


Zenler

Course Hosting Platform: You Are Responsible For Marketing
Marketing Features: Good - always updating their functionality
Age Of Platform: Unknown
Support Reputation: High
Cost: Free - 10% Sales Commission

Thoughts:

Versatile and free, EU VAT compliant.

Currently has built in webinars in the beta version, very powerful and unique.

Best free option (no monthly cost - just 10% + $1 flat fee commission to pay on sales plus Paypal fees) for the new online entrepreneur / trainer.

Gives you the option of adding a custom URL for your school.

Very prompt customer service.


Teachable

Course Hosting Platform: You Are Responsible For Marketing
Marketing Features: Good - always updating their functionality
Age Of Platform: Unknown
Support Reputation: Average
Cost: Free/$39/$99/$299 per month

Thoughts:

Well established and recently secured $6 million in funding.

Not easy to create stand alone pages, coding experience required.

Have a free option, but you need to upgrade to the $39 a month option if you want a custom URL for your training school.

Very suspect customer support - lots of complaints in their Facebook group.


*This is our interpretation of the available data and is all represented as a personal opinion - sometimes we might lack information - please make sure you familiarise yourself with terms and conditions before joining any of these services - we in no way condone the practices of or endorse any of the above companies.

b2b = business to business / b2c = business to consumer

Shout out to Phil EbinerPaula GuilfoyleRob Cubbon and Dave Espino who have shared a lot of this information publicly and which we have drawn upon, in addition to our own research.